John Chelius – ex Jeppe Oarsmen representing SA in the tri-suit up for auction

The early 1990s were an exciting time in South African sport, as we were welcomed back into international competitions. For some of us, South Africa had been banned from international sport for our entire lifetime, and the idea that we could ever race at a World Championship had been a pipe dream.

My dream did however come true in 1992, when I was selected for the first ever South African Lightweight squad welcomed back into International competition.  We were also the first official South African Rowing squad to wear tri suits (so, to my knowledge, this tri suit is one of the very first SA tri suit ever made).

1992 was the last Olympics to not feature lightweight rowing. We toured Europe in June and were the first South African crew since 1970 to compete at a FISA World Cup regatta in Lucerne. We received a standing ovation from the Lucerne crowd, just for paddling out onto the water. It was an incredible welcome from the international rowing community. I was then also fortunate enough to row at the World Championships in Montreal Canada in August, on the 1976 Olympic course, together with fellow Jeppe Old Boys Graham Cook and our Team Manager Mr Fritz Roberg.

This suit represents the start of a very exciting chapter in South African Rowing history. Keep dreaming.

John Chelius – ex Jeppe Oarsmen

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  1. Funny story to add to John’s and maybe something for potential sponsors to consider. Bosch sponsored the squad (I think Ralph Eichweber’s – can’t remember if this was his name and definitely cant remember the spelling – dad was either THE boss or a senior guy there). Bosch also supported Jeppe hockey. Since then I have only ever used Bosch kitchen appliances on any property project I have done. Even in Singapore the Anglo office only has Bosch.

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